9.6 Weekend Preview: Everyone Stays Home

HANG TEN, BRAH. - USA TODAY Sports

Well, mostly. All of the matches are still in the city of Milwaukee, so that still counts as "staying home."

It's a rare weekend when all three fall sports teams have nothing but home matches. It also creates a bit of hard decision making for these Weekend Previews. Usually, we would just lead with whichever team is at home, since those are the matches you loyal readers can attend. In this case, we'll start with the team that's playing a top 5 ranked team.

Volleyball

Marquette went 1-1 on the opening weekend, defeating Bowling Green in four sets and dropping a five set loss to #13 BYU. Freshman Autumn Bailey made an oustanding debut and currently leads both MU and the Big East in kills per set at 5.00. Bailey also has a team high 3.33 digs/set, while Elizabeth Koberstein has lived up to her preseason Big East Player Of The Year honors by averaging 12.22 assists/set. 6'5" redshirt freshman Jackie Kocken has made her presence felt immediately by averaging 1.44 blocks per set, which is 0.40 more than the 2012 team high.

Match 3: vs #3 USC (3-0)

Where: Al McGuire Center
When: Friday, September 6, 7pm Central
Audio/Visual: It looks like the game will be streamed live here. Live stats will definitely be here.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteVB

Here's the good news for Marquette: USC dropped their first set of the season. Here's the bad news: The Women of Troy have won nine straight sets since then to start the season with a perfect 3-0 record, including a 25-9 set win to close out Alabama A&M in their most recent contest. That's not a typo. I triple checked it. They had leads of 8-2, 13-2, and 22-5. Oh, and did I mention that #3 ranking and 2 first place votes in this week's AVCA poll?

Like Marquette, the Trojans are led in the early going by a freshman hitter. Ebony Nwanebu is tops on the stat page with 3.75 kills/set, leading a group of five Trojan hitters averaging at least two kills/set. The interesting thing is that only one of them, senior outside hitter Sara Shaw has played in all 10 sets for USC. Head coach Mick Haley's in his 13th season at USC with two NCAA championships and another two while coaching the women's volleyball team at the University of Texas, so I'm going to guess he knows what he's doing by spreading out his early playing time.

Junior Hayley Crone and freshman Alice Pizzasegola have been splitting time at the setter spot, with Crone getting the starts and the team lead in assists at 6.30/set. Senior libero Natalie Hagglund has the team lead in digs with 3.10/set, although nearly everyone on the team averages at least one-third of a dig per set. Three different Trojans average at least 1 block per set, so Marquette is going to have to be powering kills through at least one pair of hands for most of the match.

Match 4: vs TCU (3-1)

Where: Al McGuire Center
When: Saturday, September 7, 12pm Central
Audio/Visual: It looks like the game will be streamed live here. Live stats will definitely be here.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteVB
Special Promotion: Save your USC ticket and get in for $2.

Hey, remember when this almost became a Big East conference matchup? Good times, man.

The Horned Frogs moved their record to 3-1 on the season with a 3-1 win over Illinois-Chicago last night. They went 2-1 last weekend in the Georgia Tournament, picking up wins over Lipscomb and Furman, while falling in straight sets to the host Bulldogs.

Senior middle blocker Yvonne Igodan was named to the Big 12 preseason all-conference team, while TCU as a team finished tied for seventh out of the nine teams that play volleyball in the polling of the conference's coaches. Igodan currently sits second on the team in kills per set behind freshman Ashley Smith, who is averaging 3.00 kills in every set. TCU uses two setters about equally, with sophomore Alexia Heist averaging 5.71 assists/set and redshirt freshman Trisha Langley handing out 4.07 assists per set.

Women's Soccer

With two losses to ranked teams, Marquette has slipped out of the Soccer America top 25 and down to #25 in the NSCAA poll. Top Drawer Soccer took into account that they lost to two ranked teams, and only has the Golden Eagles down to #18 in their rankings. Mady Vicker is the lone player with multiple goals so far this season, while Maegan Kelly has two assists to lead MU in that category and move her within two assists of tying the all time program record. Keeper Amanda Engel's 1.62 goals against average is perfectly respectable given the quality of opponent and not staying in against Oakland, but right now, she has the worst save percentage (.500) of any of the 11 keepers in the Big East who have played at least 90 minutes. Given that the system MU plays focuses on denying shots in the first place, it may take her a while to dig out of that hole.

Match 5: vs St. Mary's (1-3-0)

Where: Valley Fields
When: Friday, September 6, 7:30pm (or 30 minutes after the previous game ends)
Audio/Visual: Live stats will be here.
Twitter Updates: @MUWomensSoccer
Special Promotion: It's the second game of a doubleheader in the Marquette Invitational, with Loyola-Chicago vs Colorado College starting at 5pm.

On one side, the Gaels lost a 1-0 match to a San Diego State side that was ranked #11 in the country at the time and a 2-0 decision to a #25 ranked Denver team. On the other side, they also lost 2-0 to a Colorado team that hasn't given up a goal yet this season and yet was picked to finish 10th in the Pac 12. As a result of those three losses, they're carrying around a nearly 285 minute scoreless streak. They had three different scorers in their 3-0 win over Grand Canyon to open the season, so there's that at least.

SMC was picked to finish eighth in the 10 team West Coast Conference, and Marquette's already had a look at how the top of that conference plays after their match against Portland. Freshman keeper Kaeli Schmidt has seen every minute in net for the Gaels, and her 1.25 goals-against average and .762 save percentage are pretty respectable against strong competition in the early going.

Match 6: vs Colorado College (1-2-0)

Where: Valley Fields
When: Sunday, September 8, 1:30pm (or 30 minutes after the previous game ends)
Audio/Visual: Live stats will be here.
Twitter Updates: @MUWomensSoccer
Special Promotion: It's the 2nd game of a tripleheader, with Loyola-Chicago vs St. Mary's starting at 11am, and men's soccer vs Drake afterwards.

Unsurprisingly, Colorado College's two losses are against the aforementioned Denver and Colorado. It took overtime for the Pioneers to get past CC, and the loss to the Buffaloes was courtesy of a 52nd minute goal. Their win was a 4-0 pounding of Appalachian State. Even with the slightly disappointing start to the season, Colorado College is still a solid opponent. They were picked to win Conference USA by the coaches of that league, and 2012 C-USA Midfielder Of The Year Jessie Ayers returns this season and is on the MAC Hermann Award Watch List.

Freshman forward Chanisse Hendrix got the first two goals of her career against Appalachian State, and she's the only Tiger who has found the back of the net more than once so far this season. Senior forward Lynn Froetscher had helpers on two of the five goals that CC has scored this season. Sophomore keeper Kate Scheele has taken all the time in net with some outstanding stats to show for it. She has a goals-against average of 0.97 and a save percentage of .824.

Men's Soccer

If you wanted to intentionally design a lousy start to a season, what happened to men's soccer on opening weekend is a pretty solid way to go. The Golden Eagles started the season by dropping a 2-1 loss to UW-Milwaukee, thereby allowing the Panthers to reclaim the Milwaukee Cup. At some point after the match, Big East preseason all-conference midfielder Bryan Ciesiulka was diagnosed with a concussion and didn't dress for Sunday's match. That one turned into a 3-3 draw with UW-Green Bay that included a 41 minute lightning delay in between the two overtime periods. There's no word at this point as to whether Ciesiulka will be available for this weekend, but one thing is for sure: Wins are needed. Soccer America and the NSCAA have already dropped MU from their top 25, and Top Drawer Soccer has slid the Golden Eagles from 9th to 16th this week.

Match 3: vs Bowling Green (0-0-1)

Where: Engelmann Field, Milwaukee, WI
When: Friday, September 6, 5pm
Audio/Visual: The Horizon League Network is a really nice setup for live video streaming. Live stats will be here.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteSoccer
Special Promotion: It's the first game of a doubleheader, with UWM vs Drake coming afterwards.

I refuse to consider a 5-0 win against D2 Malone as a regular season win, so the Falcons sit with just one result on the season. The good news for them is that the result is a draw against #14 Michigan. Senior midfielder Joey D'Agostino accounted for the lone BGSU goal in that game, and senior keeper Michael Wiest played all 110 minutes, making seven saves to keep the Wolverines at just one goal.

MAC soccer is a weird thing. There's only seven schools participating, with one of them being West Virginia, since the Big 12 doesn't sponsor men's soccer, and another being something called "Hartwick." In any case, Bowling Green was picked to finish fourth in the conference. They'll have a tough road ahead of them in that regards, as they only play two home conference games, because someone apparently can't tell that six is easily divided into two groups of three.

Match 4: vs Drake (0-2-0)

Where: Valley Fields
When: Sunday, September 8, 3:30pm is the listed start time.
Audio/Visual: Live stats will be here.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteSoccer
Special Promotion: It's the third match of a tripleheader, so 3:30 as a start time is completely dependent on the first two games.

The Bulldogs have yet to taste victory in 2013, and that includes a 2-0 exhibition loss to Notre Dame. All three of their matches have been at home, but they've only generated two goals, with both coming in a 4-2 loss to Cal Poly. Drake actually led 2-1 in that contest after Danton Ireland scored in the 74th minute, but Cal Poly score in the 76th and 81st minutes to snare the lead and then added insult to injury by throwing one more in with four seconds to play. You can't really fault DU for their second loss of the regular season, as it came at the hands of #14 Tulsa.

Drake finished tied for second in the preseason balloting of the Missouri Valley Conference head coaches, picking up one first place vote along the way. The Bulldogs have two midfielders, junior Jarred Arde and senior Addison Eck, on the MVC preseason all-conference team.

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